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Military transport aircraft

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Military transport aircraft or military cargo aircraft are typically fixed wing and rotary wing cargo aircraft which are used to airlift troops, weapons and other military equipment by a variety of methods to any area of military operations around the surface of the planet, usually outside the commercial flight routes in uncontrolled airspace. Originally derived from bombers, military transport aircraft were used for delivering airborne forces during World War II and towing military gliders. Some military transport aircraft are tasked to perform multi-role duties such as aerial refueling and, rescue missions, tactical, operational and strategic airlifts onto unprepared runways, or those constructed by engineers.

Contents

Fixed-wingEdit

Fixed-wing transport aircraft are defined in terms of their range capability as strategic airlift or tactical airlift to reflect the needs of the land forces which they most often support. These roughly correspond to the commercial flight length distinctions: Eurocontrol defines short-haul routes as shorter than 1,500 km (810 nmi), long-haul routes as longer than 4,000 km (2,200 nmi) and medium-haul between.[1]

A more specialised role of a cargo aircraft is that of transporting fuel in support of other aircraft with more limited flight endurance such as fighters or helicopters. Smaller cargo aircraft, known as "utility", are often used to transport military communications equipment as temporary or permanent platforms, and in the command role by providing airborne command post or as an air ambulance.

Transports and tankersEdit

Type Country Role Introduction Date Number Built Payload (t) Maximum Take-Off Weight (t) Cruise Speed (km/h) Service Ceiling (m) Range (km) Image
Aeritalia G.222 Italy Tactical 1978 111 9 28 439 7,620 1,371  
Airbus A310 MRTT European Union Strategic / Tank 2003 36 164 850 12,530 6,500    
Airbus A330 MRTT European Union Strategic / Tank 2007 45 223 860 13,000 14,800    
Airbus A400M European Union Strategic / Tactical 2009 67 37 141 780 12,200 9,300  
Alenia C-27J Spartan Italy Tactical 2008 101 11.5 31.8 583 9,144 5,926  
Antonov An-8 Camp Ukraine Tactical 1958 151 11 88 480 9,600 2,780  
Antonov An-12 Cub Ukraine Tactical 1959 1248 20 61 670 10,200 5,700  
Antonov An-14 Clod Ukraine Tactical / Utility 1966 332 7 3.6 180 5,000 650  
Antonov An-22 Antei Ukraine Strategic / Tactical 1965 68 80 250 740 10,200 5,000  
Antonov An-26 Curl Ukraine Tactical 1969 1403 5.5 24 440 7,500 2,550  
Antonov An-28 Cash Ukraine Tactical / Utility 1986 191 2.5 8 270 7,620 1,500  
Antonov An-32 Cline Ukraine Tactical 1976 361 6.7 26.9 480 9,500 2,500  
Antonov An-72 Coaler Ukraine Tactical 1977 195 7.5 33 600 10,100 4,800  
Antonov An-124 Ruslan Ukraine Strategic 1982 55 150 405 800-850 12,000 5,410  
Antonov An-70 Ukraine Strategic / Tactical 1994 2 47 145 729 12,000 6,600  
Antonov An-178 Ukraine Tactical 2015 1 18 42 800 13,000 5,500  
Antonov/Taqnia An-132 Ukraine/Saudi Arabia Tactical 2016 9.2 28.5 550 9,000 4,400  
Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy United Kingdom Strategic / Tactical 1960 72 13 48 407 7,010 5,552  
Avro York United Kingdom Strategic / Tactical 1944 259 9.1 29.4 322 7,010 4,800  
Avro Vulcan K.2 United Kingdom Tank 1984 136 93 1053.5 14,000-17,000  
Beechcraft C-12 Huron United States Tactical / Utility 1974 2 5 375 10,668 3,185  
Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey United States Tactical 1989 200+ 6.8 27.4 396 7,620 1,627  
Boeing 247/C-73 United States Strategic / Tactical 1942 6.2 304 7,620 1,200  
Boeing C-108 Flying Fortress United States Strategic / Tactical 1943 (prototype only) 5 30 293 10,850 3,219  
Boeing KB-29 Superfortress United States Tank 1948 5.4 62 507 12,000 3,710  
Boeing C-97 Stratofreighter United States Strategic / Tank 1951 888 9.1 79 482 10,670 6,920   
Boeing KB-50 Superfortress United States Tank 1956 5.4 62 507 12,000 3,710  
Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker United States Strategic / Tank 1956 803 37.6 146 853 15,200 17,766    
Boeing YC-14 United States Tactical 1976 (prototype only) 31.4 133 723 13,716 5,136  
Boeing VC-25 United States VIP transport 1990 375 925 13,700 13,000  
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III United States Strategic / Tactical 1991 279 77.5 265 830 13,716 10,390  
Boeing C-32 United States VIP transport 1998 116 851 13,000 7,250  
Boeing C-40 Clipper United States Strategic 2001 18 78 838 12,500 5,600  
Boeing KC-767 United States Strategic / Tank 2005 29.5 182 851 12,200 11,830    
Boeing KC-46 Pegasus United States Strategic / Tank 2013 29.5 182 851 12,200 11,830  
British Aerospace 125 United Kingdom VIP transport 1965 11 747 12,500 2,891  
British Aerospace 146 United Kingdom VIP transport 1986 97.5 747 11,000 3,870  
Britten-Norman BN-2 Islander United Kingdom Tactical / Utility 1965 2 3 257 4,024 1,400  
Canadair North Star Canada Strategic / Tactical 1946 5 33 523 10,970 6,212  
Canadair CL-44/CC-106 Yukon Canada Strategic / Tactical 1960 95 670 9,100 8,990  
Canadair CC-109 Cosmopolitan Canada Tactical 1960 6.4 24 518 7,620 3,660  
CASA C-212 Aviocar Spain Tactical / Utility 1971 2.8 8 315 7,925 1,433  
CASA CN-235 Spain Tactical 1983 5 15.1 509 7,620 5,003  
Cessna Citation V/UC-35 United States VIP transport 1987 7.3 796 13,715 3,650  
Consolidated C-87 Liberator Express United States Strategic / Tactical 1942 4.5 25 346 8,500 5,311  
Consolidated R2Y United States Strategic / Tactical 1944 (prototype only) 5.5 29 380 8,500 6,400  
Convair XC-99 United States Strategic 1949 (prototype only) 45 145.5 370 9,150 13,041  
Convair C-131 Samaritan United States Tactical 1950 21 409 7,470 750  
Curtiss C-46 Commando United States Strategic / Tactical 1941 6.8 20 278 7,468 5,069  
de Havilland Canada DHC-4 Caribou Canada Tactical 1958 3.6 14.2 348 7,559 2,103  
de Havilland Canada DHC-5 Buffalo Canada Tactical 1965 8.2 22.3 9,450 1,112  
de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter Canada Tactical / Utility 1966 5.5 278 7,620 1,434  
Douglas DC-2/C-32 United States Strategic / Tactical 1937 8 278 6,930 1,750  
Douglas C-47 Skytrain United States Strategic / Tactical 1941 3 10.5 360 8,045 2,600  
Douglas C-54 Skymaster United States Strategic / Tactical 1942 33 310 6,800 6,400  
Douglas C-74 Globemaster United States Strategic 1945 22 78 6,490 5,470  
Douglas C-47 Skytrain/C-117 Skytrain United States Strategic / Tactical 1951 3 10.5 360 8,045 2,600  
Douglas C-118 Liftmaster United States Strategic / Tactical 1947 12.7 48.5 507 5,460 6,700  
Douglas C-124 Globemaster II United States Strategic 1950 448 88.2 370 6,645 10,975  
Douglas C-133 Cargomaster United States Strategic 1956 50 53.5 130 519 9,800 6,590  
EADS CASA C-295 Spain Tactical 1998 9.3 23.2 481 9,100 5,400  
Embraer KC-390 Brazil Tactical 2014 23 72 900 10,973 6,200  
Fairchild C-82 Packet United States Tactical 1944 12.5 24.5 351 6,460 6,239  
Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar United States Tactical 1949 12.5 33.5 322 7,300 2,849  
Focke-Wulf Fw 200 Condor Germany Strategic / Tactical 1937 23 335 6,000 3,560  
Fokker F27 Friendship Netherlands Tactical 1958 20 460 7,620 2,055  
Fokker 50 Netherlands Tactical 1985 23 530 7,620 1,666  
Grumman C-1 Trader United States Carrier Onboard Delivery 1952 1.6 13.2 462 6,700 2,092  
Grumman C-2 Greyhound United States Carrier Onboard Delivery 1964 4.5 24.7 465 10,210 2,400  
Gulfstream III/C-20 United States VIP transport 1980 31.5 818 13,716 6,760  
Handley Page Hastings United Kingdom Strategic / Tactical 1948 9 36.2 468 8,100 2,720  
Handley Page Victor K.2 United Kingdom Tank 1965 93 17,000 9,660  
Harbin Y-12 China Tactical / Utility 1983 5.5 250 7,000 1,340  
Ilyushin Il-12 Coach Russia Tactical 1946 17 6,500 1,500  
Ilyushin Il-14 Crate Russia Tactical 1954 18 7,400 1,300  
Ilyushin Il-76 Candid Russia Strategic / Tactical 1971 960 47 170 900 13,000 4,400  
Ilyushin Il-78 Midas Russia Tank 1971 53 47 170 900 13,000 4,400  
Ilyushin Il-76-MD-90A Russia Strategic / Tactical 2013 60 210 850 13,000 4,000  
Ilyushin Il-78M-90A Russia Tank 2017 47 170 900 13,000 4,400
Ilyushin Il-112 Russia Tactical 2011 5.9 20 550 7,600 5,000  
Ilyushin Il-276 Russia Tactical 2025 (planned) 20 15.8 800 13,000 2,000  
Junkers Ju 52 Germany Strategic / Tactical 1930 2 11 211 5,490 800  
Junkers Ju 89 Germany Strategic / Tactical 1938 (prototype only) 1.5 29 7,000 2,980  
Junkers Ju 90 Germany Strategic / Tactical 1937 33 320 5,750 1,247  
Junkers Ju 290 Germany Strategic / Tactical 1942 3 50 6,000 6,150  
Junkers Ju 390 Germany Strategic 1943 (prototype only) 75.5 6,000 9,700  
Kawasaki Ki-56 Japan Strategic / Tactical 1940 8 8,000 3,300  
Kawasaki C-1 Japan Tactical 1970 11.9 45 657 11,580 1,300  
Kawasaki C-2 Japan Tactical 2010 37.6 120 890 12,200 6,500  
Learjet C-21 United States VIP transport 1973 8 774 13,700 5,295  
Lisunov Li-2 Soviet Union Strategic / Tactical 1939 3 10.5 360 8,045 2,600  
Lockheed Model 18 Lodestar United States Strategic / Tactical 1940 10 322 7,740 4,025  
Lockheed C-69 Constellation United States Strategic / Tactical 1943 33 504 7,629 3,900  
Lockheed C-121 Constellation United States Strategic / Tactical 1948 48.5 512 7,450 4,445  
Lockheed R6V Constitution United States Strategic 1946 (prototype only) 83.4 418 8,700 8,670  
Lockheed C-130 Hercules United States Tactical / Tank 1954 2500+ 20.4 70.3 540 10,060 3,800    
Lockheed JetStar/C-140 United States VIP transport 1961 20 811 13,105 4,820  
Lockheed C-141 Starlifter United States Strategic / Tactical 1963 285 28.4 147 912 12,500 9,880  
Lockheed C-5 Galaxy United States Strategic 1968 131 122 381 907 10,600 4,445  
Lockheed TriStar (RAF) United States Strategic / Tank 1984 136 894 13,000 7,785  
Lockheed Martin C-130J Super Hercules United States Tactical / Tank 1996 40 19-20 70.3-74.3 643 8,615 3,334    
McDonnell Douglas C-9 United States Strategic 1968 50 811 11,000 4,700  
McDonnell Douglas YC-15 United States Tactical 1975 (prototype only) 35 98 872 9,144 4,810  
McDonnell Douglas KC-10 Extender United States Strategic / Tank 1980 77 268 908 12,800 18,507    
Messerschmitt Me 323 Germany Strategic / Tactical 1943 10 43 218 4,000 800  
Mitsubishi Ki-57 Japan Strategic / Tactical 1942 9 8,000 3,000  
Nakajima Ki-34 Japan Strategic / Tactical 1937 5 310 7,000 1,200  
PZL M-28 Skytruck Poland Tactical / Utility 1993 2.5 8 270 7,620 1,500  
Nord Noratlas France Tactical 1953 12.5 21 320 7,100 2,500  
Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 Italy Strategic / Tactical 1935 2 10.5 550 7,000 1,500  
Shaanxi Y-8 China Tactical 1974 20 61 550 10,200 5,616  
Shaanxi Y-9 China Tactical 2008 25 77 650 10,200 7,800  
Short Belfast United Kingdom Strategic 1964 55 104 541 9,144 8,528  
Short Skyvan United Kingdom Tactical / Utility 1963 5 5.6 317 6,858 1117  
Short C-23 Sherpa United Kingdom Tactical / Utility 1982 3.2 3.2 296 5,114 1,239  
Showa/Nakajima L2D Japan Strategic / Tactical 1939 3 10.5 360 8,045 2,600  
Transall C-160 France/Germany Tactical 1963 214 16 49.2 513 10,060 8,230  
Vickers Valetta United Kingdom Strategic / Tactical 1948 3 16.5 277 6,550 2,350  
Vickers Valiant B(K).1/B(PR)K.1 United Kingdom Tank 1958 64 16,500 7,245  
Vickers VC10 United Kingdom Strategic / Tank 1965 151 13,105 9,412  
Xian HY-6 China Tank 1995 180 9 79 768 12,800 6,000  
Xian Y-20 China Strategic / Tactical 2013 10 66 220 900 13,000 7,800  

Rotary wingEdit

Military transport helicopters are used in places where the use of conventional aircraft is impossible. For example, the military transport helicopter is the primary transport asset of US Marines deploying from LHDs and LHA. The landing possibilities of helicopters are almost unlimited, and where landing is impossible, for example densely packed jungle, the ability of the helicopter to hover allows troops to deploy by abseiling and roping.

Transport helicopters are operated in assault, medium and heavy classes. Air assault helicopters are usually the smallest of the transport types, and designed to move an infantry squad or section and their equipment. Helicopters in the assault role are generally armed for self-protection both in transit and for suppression of the landing zone. This armament may be in the form of door gunners, or the modification of the helicopter with stub wings and pylons to carry missiles and rocket pods. For example, the Sikorsky S-70, fitted with the ESSM (External Stores Support System), and the Hip E variant of the Mil Mi-8 can carry as much disposable armament as some dedicated attack helicopters. The assault helicopter can be thought of as the modern successor to the military glider. Finally, there is the generic term utility helicopter, which generally refers to medium-lift designs.

Not all militaries are able to operate a full range of transport helicopters, so the medium transport type is probably the most useful compromise and probably the most common specialist transport type. Medium transport helicopters are generally capable of moving up to a platoon of infantry and are capable of being able to transport towed artillery or light vehicles either internally or as underslung roles. Unlike the assault helicopter they are usually not expected to land directly in a contested landing zone, but are used to reinforce and resupply landing zones taken by the initial assault wave. Examples include the unarmed versions of the Mil Mi-8, Super Puma, and CH-46 Sea Knight.

Heavy lift helicopters are the largest and most capable of the transport types, currently limited in service to the CH-53 Sea Stallion and related CH-53E Super Stallion, CH-47 Chinook, Mil Mi-26, and Aérospatiale Super Frelon. Capable of lifting up to 80 troops and moving small Armoured fighting vehicles (usually as slung loads but also internally), these helicopters operate in the tactical transport role in much the same way as small fixed wing turboprop air-lifters. The lower speed, range and increased fuel consumption of helicopters are more than compensated by their ability to operate virtually anywhere.

Transport and utility helicoptersEdit

Type Country Introduction Date Payload (t) Maximum Take-Off Weight (t) Cruise Speed (km/h) Service Ceiling (m) Range (km) Image
Aérospatiale SA 321 Super Frelon France 1966 5 13 266 3,150 1,020  
Aérospatiale SA 330 Puma France 1968 7 248 4,800 580  
AgustaWestland AW109 Italy 1976 3 285 920  
AgustaWestland AW101/EH-101 Italy 1999 8.5 15 278 4,575 833  
AgustaWestland AW139 Italy 2003 7 306 6,096 1,250  
AgustaWestland AW149 Italy 2003 9 278 6,096 800  
AgustaWestland AW159 Wildcat Italy 2014 1.5 6 777  
AgustaWestland CH-149 Cormorant Italy 2000 8.5 15 278 4,575 833  
Atlas Oryx South Africa 1987 8 248 7,162 303  
Bell UH-1 Iroquois United States 1959 1.7 4.3 201 5,910 507  
Bell UH-1N Twin Huey United States 1970 4.7 207 5,273 460  
Bell UH-1Y Venom United States 2008 3 8.3 250 6,100  
Boeing Vertol CH-46 Sea Knight United States 1964 2.2 11 5,180 1,020  
Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook United States 1962 11 23 296 6,100 370  
Changhe Z-8 China 1994 5 13 266 3,150 1,020  
Changhe Z-18 China 2014 5 13 266 6,000 1,020  
Eurocopter AS365 Dauphin France 1978 1.5 4.3 260 4,500 572  
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar France 1978 1.5 9 239 3,450 572  
Eurocopter AS565 Panther France 1986 2 4.3 260 5,865 572  
Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma/Airbus Helicopters H225 France 2004 5.5 11 261 5,900 857  
Eurocopter EC725/Airbus Helicopters H225M France 2005 5.5 11 261 5,900 857  
Harbin Z-9 China 1994 1.5 4.3 260 4,500 572  
IAR 330 Romania 1975 7.5 271 6,000 572  
Mil Mi-8 Russia 1967 4 13 230 4,500 610  
Mil Mi-17 Russia 1977 4 13 230 6,100 610  
Mil Mi-26 Russia 1977 20 61.7 255 4,600 800  
NHIndustries NH90 European Union 2007 2.5 11 6,000 800  
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk United States 1979 4 10 280 5,790 590  
Westland Lynx Italy 1978 1.5 5.5 528  

   

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Study into the impact of the global economic crisis on airframe utilisation" (PDF). Eurocontrol. January 2011. p. 21.

Further readingEdit